Watch SpaceX launch NASA's latest exoplanet-hunting satellite

SpaceX’s Valuation Surges to $25 Billion With New Funding Round

It will take NASA's planet hunter TESS and deliver it into space.TESS is equipped with a special monitoring system that catches the light of stars in space and analyzes its potential. According to forecasts, there is 80 percent of flawless weather. Eastern Daylight Time on Monday, April 18, 2018, from Space Launch Complex 40 at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. "Now TESS will open our eyes to the variety of planets around some of the closest stars". The researchers believe that TESS could discover planets orbiting the stars that illuminate our earthly sky.

According to a report by Space.com, NASA's current exoplanet hunting observatory named Kepler, has nearly exhausted its fuel supply, requiring NASA to put TESS into orbit to continue research.

That transit detection technique was pioneered by earlier probes such as NASA's Kepler telescope, which was launched in 2009.

According to NASA, the mission will produce a large catalogue of exoplanets and continue looking for signs of life in them. "Humans have always wondered if we are alone in the universe, and until 25 years ago the only planets we knew were the eight of our solar system, but since then we have found thousands of planets in orbit around other stars, and we think that all the stars in our galaxy must have their own family of planets", he said.

In preparation for this mission, the sky has been divided into 26 sectors-13 in the southern sky and 13 in the northern sky-for individual scrutiny.

The satellite on board uses four cameras to hunt for exoplanets around stars.


"TESS is opening a door for a whole new kind of study", project scientist Stephen Rinehart said.

"In a few years' time, we may very well know that there are other habitable planets out there, with breathable atmospheres", he said. "It's the beginning of a new era of exoplanet research".

The best candidates will get a closer look with the James Webb Space Telescope, which is scheduled to launch in 2020.

"The TESS mission represents a dream come true for me and for the many scientists and engineers who have worked on the mission", said Stassun.

The NASA Astrophysics Explorer mission is led and operated by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and managed by the Goddard Space Flight Center.

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